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 > I hate roundabouts -- but maybe I am wrong

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rlw999

Washington State

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Posted: 06/17/21 01:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bob_nestor wrote:

I suspect the "studies" that were done showing roundabouts are safer probably compare them to 4-way stops but don't take into consideration that most drivers don't know how to navigate either one. Roundabouts are even more confusing to these drivers so they go slower thru them, stop and wait for everyone in the circle to clear out before entering or stop in the roundabout to allow others the chance to enter.


They've done some before-and-after studies in the USA and found a reduction in crashes:

Quote:

Studies of intersections in the United States converted from traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts have found reductions in injury crashes of 72-80 percent and reductions in all crashes of 35-47 percent

...

A study of 19 higher-speed rural intersections (speed limits of 40 mph or higher) that originally had stop signs on the minor approaches and were converted to roundabouts found a 62 percent reduction in all crashes and an 85 percent reduction in injury crashes



Since they are becoming more and more common (at least in my state), drivers will become more familiar with them.

DougE

New Braunfels, Texas USA

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Posted: 06/17/21 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Roundabouts are much more efficient than a 4-way stop. The issue is that some drivers are unable to deal with traffic conditions as a "dynamic" situation where they must merge into an adequate "slot" while the traffic is in motion. Some can only cope with traffic as a "static" situation and can't merge into a moving "slot".


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 06/17/21 01:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If everyone would slow down a bit, leave some space, and behave... the traffic circles are great.
Oh wait that works for about every driving situation.

The local circle we know as the "Long Beach Traffic Circle of Death"

The craziest I have seen is around the Arc de Triomphe with at least 12 streets feeding it and about 4 unmarked lanes around.


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ferndaleflyer

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Posted: 06/17/21 01:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I hate them and see that most of those that like them are from the left coast. We have one in the middle of no where. 1 in 4 vehicles get lost in there. GPS just helps the confusion

NRALIFR

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Posted: 06/17/21 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just because the roundabouts you’re familiar with are well designed doesn’t mean they all are.

It’s the six-inch tall curbing that surrounds the too small roundabouts round these here parts that make me go [emoticon]

WTH do they think is going to happen when a truck and trailer try to negotiate those???

[emoticon][emoticon]


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valhalla360

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Posted: 06/17/21 02:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A lot of it is perception.

If they are designed properly, they force drivers to slow down in order to make the turns. A lot of the design revolves around deflection angles which is why you get the triangular splitter islands going into modern roundabouts.

Yes, they often have a paved inner circle on 1 lane roundabouts to accommodate trucks.

Occasionally, they will result in a small increase in property damage only (think fender bender crashes) but injury crashes go way down pretty much always, simply because everything is happening slowly.

Way more capacity than stop controlled intersections and far less delay. At traffic signals it depends but usually a roundabout will do better.

As far as people struggling to enter:
- It may be annoying but relatively harmless if you just stop at the entrance.
- It's really very simple, look to the left...if there is a gap, you can enter and once you have entered you have right of way over other entering vehicles (multilane, follow the lane markings).

PS: About 20yr ago, I was working at MiDOT and we put in the first multilane roundabout (3 lanes). We had a webcam, so we could observe from the central office. After it was announced to be open, we all gathered around and finally called the construction office to see if really was fully open. They said yes, so we put an intern to counting cars. It was handling 5000 vehicles/hour with essentially no queues or delay. Even really big signalized intersections will struggle with that kind of volume and there will always be substantial delays...of course post script, the plow drivers had to learn they couldn't leave the bucket up while going thru after one fell over. They lift the bucket so the salt flows back to the spreader but this made him top heavy and he took the turn too fast.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 06/17/21 02:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you want to freak out, try a "diverging diamond" interchange. As you enter the interchange, you flip across to the left side of the roadway and then as you depart, you flip back to the right side.

Particularly towing, if you aren't prepared for it, it's a little mind bending.

That said, once you get used to them, they are great.

RetiredRealtorRick

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Posted: 06/17/21 02:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They've been in Europe for a long, long time. People learn to negotiate them properly, and there are very few problems. Seems like many Americans would rather complain about them than to learn to use them efficiently and safely.

Now, on the other hand, you just don't see unnecessarily huge trucks in Europe, or RV combos that are 70 feet long, but they're all very commonplace in the US. Therein lies the rub. When it comes to the newer, gigantic trucks in the US, people have a hard time putting them between the lines at the grocery store -- let alone negotiating a roundabout.

There's a learning curve, And for a lot of Americans it seems to be a looong slooooow curve.

Happy travels.


. . . never confuse education with intelligence

WNYBob

Tonawanda, NY

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Posted: 06/17/21 03:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have one that is a double! One exit is the entrance to the second one! Most people have issues with one circle and stop at the yield, they are totally lost with back to back roundabouts.

Y-Guy

Tri-Cities, WA

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Posted: 06/17/21 03:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've gotten used to them, with that said what I hate about them is the Junior Speed racers that fly through them a top speed. I'd love to see small speed bumps as you enter just to slow traffic down a bit, then it would flow smooth I think.

Where I live we call them Officer Roundabout. He's doing great about busting the DUI drivers that can't navigate them. One round about in town, has nailed some where like 19 drivers that have crashed through 1 fence.


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